BoC to take up Hickory Flat development again
by Joshua Sharpe
March 30, 2014 04:00 AM | 2529 views | 1 1 comments | 21 21 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Ray Gunnin
Ray Gunnin
CANTON — The Cherokee Board of Commissioners is expected to consider a highly debated proposed neighborhood in the Hickory Flat community during its meeting Tuesday after delaying a decision earlier this month.

Chatham Neighborhoods LLC has asked the county to rezone 67.5 acres off Highway 140 and Batesville Road to make way for the development. But the company requested a delay from the commissioners in mid-March, amid worries from officials and residents that the plans didn’t fit with the county’s land use plan.

The Alpharetta-based developer originally requested an R-15 zoning class and planned for 115 homes. Commissioner Ray Gunnin said Friday the company has plans to decrease the density of the development, knocking it down to a little less than 100 homes.

“R-15 wasn’t going to work,” said Gunnin, who represents the area where the development is planned. “I wanted them to present another plan, let the citizens look at it and go from there.”

Chatham’s most up-to-date plans weren’t available Friday. The company’s attorney, Parks Huff, couldn’t be reached for comment, though he has expressed his client’s wish to find a palatable solution for neighbors.

Nearby resident Richard Cowart said he and other residents met with Chatham on Thursday, but they weren’t satisfied with what they saw.

“They showed us a plan that took it down from 115 to 99, which we were disappointed with,” he said Friday. “We didn’t feel like that was much of a move on their part. We don’t want to make it impossible, but we would like to see some changes made to protect the landowners next to it.”

Gunnin said he also met with the developer Thursday and planned another meeting Monday night to continue hashing out how the planned neighborhood could be designed to work for all involved.

More than a few neighbors to the proposed development have sounded off in recent weeks, saying Chatham’s plans were too dense for the largely rural area. The Cherokee County Planning Commission seemed to agree the plan didn’t fit with the land use plan and recommended denial for the company’s original request.

Con-gregation members from Hickory Flat United Methodist Church, which is trying to sell part of the land to Chatham, have expressed their need to sell off the land.

Mike Kerr is also selling about 20 acres of the land to Chatham and feels the neighbors speaking out against the plans are too worried about development in general.

“I’m all for it, obviously,” Kerr said Friday of the development. “It seems that they don’t want anything but horse farms. But there can’t be any growth that way. I think it’s appropriate.”

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April 01, 2014
Where is the trust? Does Cherokee want quality development or just more of the same. You can find no better builder/developers of property than Chatham. If the anti-development fringe keeps tweaking and micromanaging the development they could pull out, and take their jobs and quality with them.
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